Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Self Worth


I am my own worst enemy.

It has become apparent that I have a core belief that needs to be changed: I believe that I don't matter. I guess I have always known this, but thinking about it now, I see how ingrained in my life it has become.

I don't feel like my opinions or feelings are taken seriously by other people. I feel like no one cares. I don't feel like I am adding anything of value to this world. I feel like my words and photos and views are meaningless and worthless. I feel stupid. I feel like people are just laughing at me or criticizing me when I am not around. And sometimes when I am around. As if people don't have more important things to do than think about me.

I don't like making decisions, even on small things, like where to have dinner. I feel like I am inconveniencing other people if I choose something they may not have wanted. I ask a million times, "Are you sure that's OK?" I don't believe in my own opinions and choices, or at least, I feel they have no worth.

I let people walk all over me.

I initially took a comment last week as kind, and later in the week had myself convinced that the person was just making fun of me, because the voices in my head tell me, "That person doesn't like you. Why would they say something nice to you?"

This is such a childish way to think. I'm not only putting myself down, I am assuming the worst of others. If people don't like me, it's most likely not because of anything I have done. I am shy and awkward, but I am not a mean-spirited person. (At least, I hope I don't come across that way. I really care about people, sometimes too much.) Maybe it's something they're carrying, and I should have some compassion. Maybe it's all in my head and people do like me. Maybe I am over analyzing everything and should just relax. (Bingo!) But ultimately, it does not really matter what others think, anyway. I should still believe in myself, regardless.

As Dr. Seuss said, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Some days, I see a glimmer of hope. I might win a game or take a photo or write something that I particularly like, and even if I receive no feedback about it from others, I am proud of it and it feels good. Or someone might give me a compliment and I genuinely believe it. This is how it should be. I need to live for what makes me happy, what gives my life meaning, and the right people will be drawn to it and fill it out completely. That's how they say it works, anyway. But this doesn't mean I should stop respecting other people and their thoughts and feelings. Everyone matters.

So my mission -- should I choose to accept it -- is to believe in myself. I will get there eventually. Maybe I'll feel like I matter if I do things that matter.

I also want to make sure I teach my son to believe in himself always, and to believe in other people. Because he matters, and everyone else does, too. We're all important pieces of this puzzle of life, and the picture wouldn't be the same without any one of us.